Food culture and society have a lot in common. Food is a necessity. Evolutionary speaking the abundance or lack of it marked our chances for survival. That is why our limbic system reacts so well to any visual representation of food. Including the steak you see behind. But food is not just pure biological need. Food is culture. The way we eat, the way we engage in social activities while preparing and eating food, the habits, customs and even the superstitions that surround it make us who we are. Getting to know one man’s food is learning a lot about him. At Travel World Passport we love to explore the world from any angle possible. And food is one of the fun ways to discover the truth about any given country you decide to visit.
At Travel World Passport we like to examine travels – we like to view traveling not only as mere act of moving and even discovering a certain specific location. We see it as the complex yet very enjoyable set of lessons we all can enjoy. We’ve research all things travel and all things traveling leads to. We’ve done posts on how traveling boosts your mental health and how it can help you be more open-minded. This time we’ve indulged ourselves in a very interesting process of researching the world through food and eating customs of different nations (as strange as they may seem). In the past we’ve dedicated one post entirely to Food Tourism per se. It is one such trend where clearly food culture and society meet. This time we’ve worked on a deck that is all about FOOD & EATING HABITS from all over the world.
Why do we think it’s important? Because since food is such a universal necessity it have evolved in our culture and it does say a lot about us, about our believes and even our dreams. The Kenya warrior drinking blood of a cow (no matter how disgusting this may seem) dreams of power, the matador consuming the defeated bulls balls (no matter how weird we may find it) is expressing something, too. I know that some customs and habits seem barbarian, I know that especially for vegetarians (who I respect a lot) even the steak on the cover of this post symbolises suffering rather than joy. But that also says a lot about the society we live in. Food is one of the ways (like art I daresay) we express ourselves. And by traveling and discovering how others eat, prepare food and act on it we embrace the way they think.
Food is even responsible for some of our behaviors. Kissing may have originated when mothers orally passed chewed solid food to their infants during weaning. (tweet this fact)
The same goes for drinking. I am highly aware of the fact that alcohol has done a lot of damage to our societies. But at the same time it has been with us since the beginning of the human kind. The drinking customs, the alcohol we enjoy, the toasts we make again say a lot about our culture. Obviously globalisation took it’s toll – our customs merge, lose sometimes their specific meaning. Yet even when it comes to something as globalised as fast food we’ve managed to add a bit of a local twist to it. That is why we’ve also explored the street foods of Europe for a start – just to show you how much those little snacks can tell stories about people.
Food Culture and society are linked in many possible ways. Tipping is one such cultural emanation of our rather natural habits – the powerful reciprocity mechanism. We’ve examined the tipping culture and found really amazing facts about it. Tipping can be sometimes about power, about kindness or about being grateful. And it also proves that sometimes even lack of something (like a lack of tipping culture in China) says a lot about given culture.
Food is amazing. Not only does it provides nutrition, gives you strenght and allows you to act daily. It also forms a link between food culture and society. Eating is a social activity and so is drinking (in moderate amounts:)). So next time you travel think of food not only as a bare necessity but something that can tell you a lot about the country you’re visiting.